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Gist of Cuddalore Resource Centre Meeting Minutes - 16/02/2006
venue: Hotel KTR

Dr. Nalini Keshavraj, Manager, TNTRC, welcomed the participants of the meeting and gave a brief introduction about TNTRC and the role played by it vis-à-vis Cuddalore Resource Centre (CRC) formation. She highlighted some of the imperatives of having a resource centre at district level.

Dr. K.M.Parivelan, IMCO, TNTRC, gave brief recap of previous meetings. The inputs of various INGOs/ NGOs regarding the resource centre formation were shared: a) the over all consensus for forming resource centre, b) scope of the centre, and c) broad objectives.

The representatives of various INGOs/ NGOs gave suggestions to broaden the scope of CRC.
It was agreed that some more interested members could be included in the adhoc Core Group (already 12 NGO members+ DRO+ TNTRC).

The additional members include:
All the participants suggested that, the Core Group size could be pruned assessing the commitment and regularity among members.

Consensus Reached:

1. MoU for Cuddalore Resource Centre: The MoU modalities was explained in detail. In which after through deliberations among participating INGOs/ NGOs, four of them volunteered to be part of it:
EKTA- Ms. Bimala
SASY- Mr. Rameshnathan
IGSSS- Mr.Joseph/ Mr.Antony Prabakar
PMSSS- Mr.Alosiyus

2. Financial Responsibility: Among them, EKTA has volunteered to take care of the funds transfer and accounts handling.

3. Proposal Sending: All the four mentioned above have agreed to jointly prepare and send the proposal to TNTRC vis-à-vis forming CRC.

India rejects report on human rights violations of tsunami survivors

Thu Feb 2, 5:40 AM ET

India has rejected a report alleging human rights violations of tsunami survivors and said the authors had arrived at their conclusions based on "generalised statements."

"I cannot respond until and unless I have specific examples in front of me," Ashim Khurana, Joint Secretary of India's National Disaster Management department, told AFP on Thursday.

"These (conclusions) are based on generalised statements," Khurana said. "One can respond only if they are illustrated by specific examples."

The report was released Wednesday by non-governmental organizations ActionAid International, the People's Movement for Human Rights Education and Habitat International Coalition.

The authors conducted research in India, Indonesia, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand, the countries worst hit by the December 2004 tsunami.

The report said many survivors had complained of lack of government protection against discrimination, land grabs and violence while the poorest, particularly women, were subjected to sexual abuses.

The study of more than 50,000 people in the five countries found that in many places, survivors had been driven from their land and denied food, clean water and a secure home.

It said compensation programs had ignored the needs of vulnerable groups including women, farm laborers and migrant workers.

"Widows and other single women have frequently been denied compensation which has ... been handed out to male members of the family," the report said.

It added that groups experiencing discrimination included Mokens (Sea Gypsies) in Thailand, Dalits (so-called untouchables) in India and war-displaced people in Sri Lanka.

P.V. Unnikrishnan, spokesman for ActionAid International India, said he stood by the report.
"This (report) is borne out of extensive research and in India providing shelter to the survivors is yet to be a reality. It is a human right," Unnikrishnan told AFP. "Discriminatory policies continue as fisherfolk do not have rights to their land.

"On the ground in village after village there is discrimination towards the lower caste. This has been true from the start, when emergency aid was provided. The Indian government must know it is not providing charity but fulfilling a human right," he said.

The tsunami on December 26, 2004 killed about 220,000 people in 11 Indian Ocean countries. More than 16,000 people died in India.
India: Tsunami Summary (ADB)

(Note: This summary will be updated as new information becomes available)
Updated: 8 December 2005
Latest News
Recovery is well underway in all four affected states. In Tamil Nadu and Kerala where ADB's $200 million program is focused, boats have been restored boats and related gear and fishermen are back at work. The housing programs are also being completed on a fast track basis, in preparation for state elections in early 2006. ADB supported interventions are for major infrastructure and longer term livelihood programs will get into high gear in 2006, when up to $50 million is projected to be disbursed.
ADB's Extended Mission in Tamil Nadu and Kerala began operations on 1 July 2005, and are in daily interaction with the various state agencies, districts, local governments and NGOs, in preparing evaluation reports and tenders for works. The ADB team is in process of approving the first claims of an expected $10 million in retroactive expenditures. Specific works have been identified for all infrastructure and most of the livelihood programs. The State agencies have/are recruiting project consultants.
ADB is maintaining close contacts with other major donors and participated in a joint review with the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program in September 2005. ADB is also supporting the National Planning Commission with preparation of its 1 year report on reconstruction. Country Director, INRM will lead a review mission to both states 12-15 December 2005 at which time the Board Paper for the proposed $5 million Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction project will be finalized with the state governments.
CasualtiesDead: 10,749;
missing: 5,640;
injured: 6,913.
Tamil Nadu was the worst affected area with 7,983 deaths reported.
Overall Damage
The earthquakes set off giant tsunami waves of 3 to 10 meters in height, which hit the southern and eastern coastal areas of India and penetrated inland up to 3 kms, causing extensive damage in the Union Territory of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Pondicherry. About 2,260 km of the coastal area besides the Andaman & Nicobar Islands were affected.
The Government quickly responded to the disaster and, together with relief organizations, civil society and the private sector, launched effective relief operations. To help accelerate the transition from relief to reconstruction, the Government asked for emergency assistance from ADB, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the World Bank.
Overall rehabilitation and reconstruction needs in the four mainland tsunami-affected states and territories of India total US$1.2 billion, according to the Damage and Needs Assessment Report prepared jointly by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and United Nations at the request of the Government of India and released in March.
Overall damage to assets is estimated at about $660 million and productivity losses about $410 million.
Coastal fisheries and agriculture were the worst affected economic activities. Apart from the loss of human life among the fisherfolk, fishing boats, nets, etc. have been extensively damaged. Moreover, fishing harbors and landing centers also suffered heavy damage.
In the mainland States it was reported that 162 km of national highways, 462 km of state/district highways, 14 bridges, 78 culverts and a huge number of private homes and government buildings had been damaged.
Economic Impacts
Due to the size of its economy, the macro impact on India will be minimal. The states' GDP are unaffected because economic activity along the coastline contributes very little to their income.
National economic activity was not significantly affected. National GDP is expected to expand by 6.9%, up from 6.5% in FY2004, falling back to 6.1% next year, according to ADB's Asian Development Outlook, released on 6 April.
ADB's focal sectors for assistance are: Livelihood restoration, transportation, and rural and municipal infrastructure.ADB set up its Asian Tsunami Trust Fund (ATF) with an initial contribution of US$600 million to deliver prompt emergency funding to tsunami-affected countries. It also earmarked in $175 million that could be reallocated from existing loans.ADB assistance to India on the tsunami includes the following:

* Tsunami Emergency Assistance Sector Project for $200 million approved 14 April 2005, comprising loan of $100 million and ATF grant of $100 million.
* Technical assistance grants totaling $6.5 million being processed.
* Total: $206.5 million

ADB Projects
The three donors and the Government agreed to allocate livelihood restoration, transportation, and rural and municipal infrastructure in Tamil Nadu and Kerala to ADB; housing, fisheries, and agriculture sectors to the World Bank; and disaster risk management to the UN, according to respective resources and expertise.ADB's $200 million loan and grant assistance package will help India restore livelihoods and rehabilitate and reconstruct damaged infrastructure in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Of the amount, $143.75 million is allocated to Tamil Nadu and $56.25 million to Kerala.
ADB's project will have four components:

* Restoration of livelihoods through microenterprise training, including replacement of productive assets, upgrading of skills, and reconstruction of community-based infrastructure;
* Rehabilitation of seriously damaged state and major district roads and bridges, including drainage structures, and rehabilitation and reconstruction of ports and harbors;
* Restoration and upgrading of damaged water supply systems and sanitary complex and solid waste management facilities, and other rural and municipal infrastructure such as village roads, drainage canals, public buildings, and electricity line network and distribution transformers; and
* Capacity building and implementation assistance for consulting services, including for incorporation of disaster resistance into the rapid planning, design, and implementation of the works, support for specialized studies such as aquifier and hydrology, and project oversight, as well as incremental administration cost.
Japan provides boats, gear to tsunami affected fishermen
[TamilNet, February 07, 2006 11:53 GMT]
In a ceremony held in Unawatuna, Galle on 27 January, the Government of Japan donated to 8 large fishing boats as part of a 40-boat gift program to tsunami affected fishermen from districts of Galle, Matara, Hambantota, Ampara, Batticaloa and Jaffna, a press release from the Embassy of Japan in Colombo, released 7 February said.

Full text of the press release follows:

The Government of Japan provided traditional type large fishing boats and fishing gear to needy fishermen in the districts of Galle, Matara, Hambantota, Ampara, Batticaloa & Jaffna at a ceremony held in Unawatuna, Galle on 27 January. Hon. Felix Perera, Minister of Fisheries, and Aquatic Resources handed over 8 nos. fishing boats, constructed by Ceynor Foundation, and also fishing gear to the fishermen. The boats are part of a total of 40 fishing boats donated by the Government of Japan. These boats are fitted with a 36 HP marine engine and contain a unique fish-hold that would enable fishermen to stay up to 7 days at sea. The total cost of the 40 fishing boats and gear is around Rs. 107 million.

In view of the severe damage inflicted to the fisheries sector by the tsunami, the Government of Japan provided US$ 20 million worth of fisheries equipment & gear, and related facilities aimed at restoring the sector and thereby enhancing the livelihood of the people dependent on it. This is part of the US$ 80 million grant provided by the Government of Japan for tsunami relief and rebuilding activities. Based on the needs identified by the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, this assistance package included a large number of boats including multi-day, traditional boats with out-board and in-board motors, 11 container type workshops, 23 trailer type ice plants and clod storages, 30 freezer trucks, etc., so that the fisheries industry can return to normalcy and the fishers could get involved in their livelihoods. Most of these items have already been handed over, while the reconstruction of fisheries harbours in Galle and Tangalle are in progress.

Mr. Yasuhiro Watanabe, Second Secretary of the Embassy of Japan, other officials and persons from the fisheries community who were beneficiaries of fishing boats and gear participated in this event. The Hon. Minister of Fisheries stressed the importance of taking good care of the assistance so provided and encouraged the people to utilize the boats so as to obtain maximum benefit. Mr. Watanabe, Second Secretary of the Embassy of Japan stated that the people of Japan hoped that the assistance provided would improve the livelihood of the people affected and thereby uplift their living conditions.
Rights of tsunami survivors often ignored
Governments most affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami too often ignore the human rights of survivors, according to a report released by non-governmental organizations Wednesday, writes the Jakarta Post (United Nations (AFP)), 020206 at
Forwarded by Budhi Mulyawan 020206.
"Tsunami response: A human right assessment" is the fruit of research conducted in India, Indonesia, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand by three non-governmental organizations:ActionAid International, the People's Movement for Human Rights Education and Habitat International Coalition.
The study of more than 50,000 people in the five countries found that in many places, survivors had been driven from their land, denied food, clean water and a secure home.
It said compensation programs had ignored the needs of vulnerable groups including women, farm laborers and migrant workers.
"Widows and other single women have frequently been denied compensation which has ... been handed out to male members of the family," the report said.
It added that groups experiencing discrimination included Mokens (Sea Gypsies) in Thailand, Dalits (so-called untouchables) in India and war-displaced people in Sri Lanka.
"The governments in these five countries have grossly failed to uphold the human rights of these vulnerable people," said Ramesh Singh, executive director of ActionAid.
"This is unjust, outrageous and unacceptable and for those people at the receiving end, women, fishing folks, sea gypsies, migrant workers, this is apartheid and slavery put together in their lives," he said.
"We call upon the governments of these countries to take the responsibility to uphold the human rights of these people." Singh said the report showed that there had been "a breach of trust, the trust offered by supporters who had emptied their pockets and offered their solidarity in the names of the people who suffered and survived the tsunami."
"We also flag a warning to the international development community, particularly international financial institutions who are pouring in money in response to the tsunami, to make sure that human rights standards are embraced in their plans andprograms, not just economic growth indicators," he added.
Former US president and UN special envoy for tsunami recovery Bill Clinton last month pledged to continue leading UN efforts to rebuild communities devastated by the giant killer waves, notably in the Indonesian province of Aceh and in Sri Lanka.
Tsunamis triggered by a 9.3-magnitude earthquake off the Indonesian island of Sumatra on December 26, 2004 killed about 220,000 people in 11 Indian Ocean countries.
Date : 19.01.2006
Time : 11.00a.m. -1.30p.m.
Venue: Parish house, Kurumpanai
The seventh village level coordination meeting of NGOs working for the tsunami affected village of Kurumpanai was held together with the psychosocial coordination on 19th Jan, 2006, at the parish house of Kurumpanai. Twelve participants from eight NGOs were present for the meeting. The meeting was organized and moderated by KRRC.
List of Participant Organisations:
NIHMANS, Care India, CSR, Cadre India, World Vision, DEW, Vinnarasu, Bridge of Hope, ICDS, Good Vision
The meeting started at 11 a.m. Fr. Nithya Sahayam briefly described the salient points from the previous report and the resolutions of the minutes were reviewed. The meeting had two parts. In the first part, a discussion was held on the various activities of NGOs and on current issues. In the second part, the psychosocial needs were specifically discussed.

Sharing by NGOs

Bridge of Hope attended the meeting for the first time and they shared that they were taking evening classes for 100 children and provided them with evening meals. They would continuously support the same group of students till their higher education.

Vinnarasu shared that they had a widow club (10 members) and a children club (10 members) for whom they provided some educational as well as material supports.
Cadre India had already completed the survey regarding eye care and would soon implement programmes for the identified persons with some deficiency.
CSR was continuing the psychosocial support with the technical supports from NIMHANS – Care India.
DEW attended the meeting for the first time and shared that they were surveying the bonded laborers in the coastal areas. They organized some awareness programmes regarding the bonded labor system prevailing in the coastal areas and planned to further address this problem.
The volunteer of Good Vision shared that they had constructed three fishermen resting sheds, Rs. 2500 loan to 100 widows and they planned to give trainings for alternate livelihoods like poultry, sheep rearing and fancy fish rearing. The individual toilet programme was about to be finalized and started.
The ICDS staff shared regarding the psychosocial support they were providing to the community at individual levels.


There were many NGOs involved in programmes for children and it was found that they very much coordinated. The alternate livelihood trainings like poultry and sheep rearing were though very much innovative in the coastal context, the social and community aspects of them needed to be discussed. People needed to be oriented and motivated at the community level for avoiding any problems that might arise due to lack of space, smell and waste water discharges.

The issue of bonded labour system was also discussed. The bonded labour system was quite rampant in a mild and different form. The people were not aware of the way they were exploited by others and general awareness was needed in this regard.

Many health problems as well as family problems were arising in the temporary shelter. The shelters were very much damaged and inappropriate for human living. It was shared that it would take minimum six months for the completion of the permanent shelter and some intervention needed for improving the temporary shelter conditions.

Malaria was on the increase and alcoholism was also found to be quite high. Garbage and wastewater management needed quite urgently.

Psychosocial Care: An in-depth discussion on the psychosocial care needs was held. Various problems of different groups as identified by the participants were evoked from the group. The problems of indebtedness, alcoholism, health problems, poor living conditions at the shelter, poor involvement of the adolescent group in the social activities were identified.

Based on the discussions, the following suggestions were arrived at:

· To provide a training on family economy to adult group

· To conduct health awareness programmes

· To conduct a focus group discussion with the adolescent girls in the village with the regard to the adolescent issues that are coming up in the village.

· To use Life event theatre as a medium of intervention among adolescent girls and also to bring out the issues.

· For the focus group discussion, it was agreed to divide the adolescent girls on the basis of anbiums.

· It was also agreed that in these focus groups discussion unmarried girls shall also be included.

· NIMHANS to initiate these focus group discussion and 31st January was agreed as the first day for the discussion. The time was fixed as between 2 and 5 pm.

Next PSC VLC meeting would be held on 8th February 2006.
Source: KRRC
Date :19.01.2006
Time : 3.45 p.m. - 5.30p.m.
Venue: St. Little Flower Hr. Sec School, Melamanakudy, Kanyakumari District
The first village level coordination meeting of NGOs working for the tsunami affected village of Melamanakudy was held on 19th Jan, 2006, at the St. Little Flower Hr. Sec. School, Melamanakudy. Sixteen participants from ten NGOs were present for the meeting. The meeting was organized and moderated by KRRC.
List of Participant Organisations:
Praxis, Care India, DEW, Chardep, Deeds, Oferr, World Vision, Concern India, Heal, VHAK
The meeting started at 3.45 p.m. Fr. Nithya Sahayam started the meeting with the brief introduction and background about the various efforts taken for the coordination meeting and also about the need of the meeting. The parish priest of Melamanakudy, Fr. Benzigar added to the introduction and expressed his desire for working together for the rehab and development of the village. Followed by the introductory words, all the participants introduced themselves. The activities of the participant organisations were then discussed.

Activities of NGOs

Praxis: They provided fish vending vessels and Rs. 2000 loan to individual members of a widow group and Rs. 1000 loan to each member of a group of breakwater fishers. They were running a tuition center for 3-8th Standard children (35 students), provided uniform and books to the students, provided health mix and milk to 0-5 year children. They were also giving psychosocial support. They planned to construct a tuition center, to repair damaged houses and to construct new houses. They could support the salary of one more tuition teacher.

DEW: They were involved in identifying the bonded laborers in the coastal areas and organized awareness programmes on bonded labor. They would also concentrate on alternate employment and insurance.

DEEDS: They conducted a need assessment, provided three days PS care training to 18 teachers, gave PS support to 403 school children and stress management training to school teachers. They identified 20 wives of severely affected alcoholic persons for psychosocial support. They planned to employ 20 community level workers for six months.

Chardep: They conducted a baseline survey with the support of Care India and identified 330 vulnerable persons. They planned to implement micro projects like shell crafts, pickle making etc for their livelihood and educational projects like tuition, adult literacy, computer literacy etc.

Care India: They had six partners in Kanyakumari district. They worked with six angles, restoration of livelihood, and promotion of livelihood, DRM, infrastructure development, and advocacy. For Melamanakudy, they would work in partnership with Chardep. They expressed their interest to support micro projects for livelihood and education and urged that all NGOs should work united without duplicating for which KRRC should play the major role.

Oferr: They gave counseling, conducted medical camps, provided health mix to ICDS children, health tonics to the aged people, conducted awareness programmes on health, AIDS and sanitation, provided bleaching powder, chlorine tablets and phenol, provided trainings to SHGs and supported for some medical needs of the affected people. They planned to give notebooks to the children.

World Vision: They provided relief supports, hygiene and first aid kits to the temporary shelters, organized cash for work programmes, organized a day care center, conducted tuition to 6-10 Std children and were running a tailoring unit for 60 women. They planned to support educational projects.

Concern India: They provided fishing equipments and engines and planned to give Rs. 8000 worth catamaran and nets to 15 persons fishing in the backwaters.

They involved in the removal of garbage, counseling and conducted an exhibition in Kottar. They planned to develop mangrove gardens along the river and also to desilt and deepen the estuary.

VHAK: They provided mixi and grinder to the temporary shelter, gave PS care, organized children parliament groups, supported for the RCC roofing for the tuition center and organized peer child contact programmes.


The parish priest shared that there was lot of need for educational support, particularly for the dropouts due to migration and also for higher education to those who completed schooling. Appreciating the movement of the NGOs to involve in educational support and emphasizing also the importance of psychosocial care, he expressed that all NGOs must come together and work in a coordinated way as to address multifarious needs.

The parish priest also expressed the problems of the joint families who neither got new individual house nor enough space in the new house provided to their partners. The village needed more houses and he requested the NGOs for support.
Chardep was ready to support for computer literacy if some place was provided. World vision and Concern India also expressed their interest to support education related programmes. It was suggested to provide abacus trainings, special coaching for professional courses, adult literacy, and special education for school dropouts.

Regarding the colony houses, it was shared that the Government was providing Rs. 10000 for renovating them. But the discussion found that the amount given by the Government would not be sufficient to ensure quality and seismic resistance. Lobbying was necessary at the district level to ensure quality programme for these houses.
Though many micro projects were needed for developing the alternate employment opportunities of the community, yet marketing linkages were essential. A question was raised whether KRRC could establish a marketing linkage system at the district level.

Regarding the various tuition programmes and psychosocial support programmes being conducted, it was suggested to have a separate meeting with those NGOs, to plan as to bridge the gaps.


1. To conduct a coordination for educational programmes
2. To lobby with the Government to increase the quality of colony houses renovation programmes
3. To lobby with the Government to include in the housing beneficiary list the joint families and left out families who lost houses by tsunami
4. To establish a district level marketing center
5. To conduct regular coordination meetings

It was decided to have the next meeting on 23rd Feb. Fr. Dunsten, thanked the participants and the meeting ended at 5.45 p.m.

School constructed for the Tsunami affected children at Nanjalingampettai by CCF

Date: 11.01.06, Venue: Hotel Vijayatha, Time: 10 a.m.- 4 .15 p.m
Source: KRRC
A one-day discussion on housing for the tsunami affected people was held with NGOs and INGOs involved in housing in Kanyakumari district on 11th Jan 2006 at hotel Vijayatha. Unnathi and KRRC jointly organized the programe. Thirty-six participants from twenty-six organizations participated in the discussions.

List of the participant organizations:


A technical team of three members, Mr. Binnoy Acharya, Mr. Vivek Rawal and Mr. Dinesh from Unnati, Gujarat were present to provide the necessary technical inputs and guidance; Mr. Mano Thankaraj the District Panchayat Chairman, Mr. Prakash, IAS the Additional Collector in charge of relief and rehab activities in Kanyakumari district and Mr. Antony Xavier from NCRC were special invitees to share their experiences.

The discussion started at 10.30 a.m. Fr. Nithya Sahayam from KRRC welcomed the participants and gave a brief introduction about the background and the importance of the discussion after one year of the rehabilitation context. Mr. Vivek Rawal from Unnati introduced the schedule of the day’s discussion. Mr. Binoy Acharaya from Unnati facilitated the discussions.

All the participants introduced themselves and their organizations. Followed by the self-introduction, Mr. Binoy Acharya began the discussion with enlightening thoughts. He shared that rehabilitation was a spiritual journey in which the process was more important than the target. The discussion was not intended to find out the commissions and omissions rather it should help for identifying the strength and the positives of the rehabilitation and further to find out and address the areas of need jointly.


Based on the field experiences, the participants shared their opinions and views regarding the various aspects of housing scenario in Kanyakumari district.

Public Space

Question regarding public space in the relocation sites was raised. Habitation was not merely a construction process there were social, economic and political processes involved. People spent more time outside the house than inside the house hence it was questioned why not provide more public space in the rehabilitation sites. The government provided only three cents of land in the panchayat areas and 1.5 cents in the municipality areas as per the government policy. It was suggested that though it was not possible to increase more space in the government programmes, it could be thought of in the other programmes. It was also argued whether land was the real constraint for more public space. The way the lay out was planned was also very important for getting more public space. Though some NGOs shared that they gave more space at the backside of the house and people were also involved in the selection of the layouts, yet, the general feeling was that more public space was needed in the relocation sites.

Issues of Distance:

It was shared that there were much confusion in the beginning regarding people living within which distance from the sea should be relocated. Government initially said that they would not support any construction within 200 feet and latter they allowed NGOs to construct within 200 feet. In the government driven programme the people were not allowed to resettle below 200 feet and in the NGOs programmes they were allowed. Government was not allowing X to stay in one place but allowing Y to stay in the same place. In the high tide areas, the people within fourty meters were being shifted. But a huge population was living within forty- two hundred meters facing the sea. There were no options or programmes for their resettlement.

In some place people were shifted to far places, which might affect their livelihood. Neerodi the people were shifted to 1.5 Km away which was a non-fishing area. While relocating, the distance must be minimal as to safeguard people’s safety as well as livelihood.

Issues of Electricity to the Individual households and management of the public infrastructures and sanitation

One of the most important questions was on the floor regarding how the individual houses would be given electricity supply without getting approval for the housing plan from the panchayat. The questions of managing public infrastructures such as roads, street lights, water tanks and sanitation were also simultaneously raised. The main issue was not only construction but also management of the roads, water, drainage and infrastructures and who managed them.

Corollary to these questions, the immediate needs such as title to land, patta and plan approval for individual houses and surrendering the public infrastructures to the panchayat were to be addressed immediately. Layouts were made as per the direction of the government and there were no garbage waste management plan in the government.
The involvement of Panchayats was found to be very much essential in this regard which was so far not there.

The government did not spend any amount for the infrastructure the NGOs bore the brunt of the infrastructures as well.

Problems of the homeless

The policy adopted by the district for the rehabilitation was ‘one house to one house’. There were joint families living in the same house who were also affected by tsunami. By the policy of ‘one house to one house’ the joint families did not get any entitlement for new housing but became homeless. Even with the good will of the people to accommodate those who did not receive entitlement for housing, the space would be insufficient and it would be congested and suffocated. The difficulty in getting ration cards for the joint families was another barrier in accessing the individual family level entitlements.

Quality of the houses

The quality of the constructions was applauded. Compared to the construction elsewhere, the quality of the housing in Kanyakumari was very much higher.

Participation of the Community

One of the serious allegations in the housing was the poor participation of the community in the entire process. Beneficiaries did not know which his /her house was. Under the oblivious conditions, the people could neither monitor nor support the construction of their own housing. Though some of the organizations shared that they discussed with the people regarding the layouts, plans, size of the house and the construction was done with the approval of the people; yet, there was no role for the people for their active participation.

Repaired houses and dilapidated houses

It was a strategic and successful programme lead by the district administration supporting repairing of as many houses, which reduced number of temporary shelters. But, the group felt that there were no criteria nor any technical assessment made for determining whether a house could be repaired or not. There were also many houses purport to be undamaged but in a dilapidated condition. The safety of those houses was also not assessed. There were no retrofitting efforts nor replacement efforts so far made for those houses.

There was also fear among the people regarding what would happen to the old houses. An in-depth discussion needed with the Government, NGOs and the community.
Concluding Notes

Mr. Binoy Acharya time to time provided summary points to the various issues raised. He shared that the government also needed some cut points while determining its programmes. But finally it was the community and the PRI who were living there for generations in the same locality, who should decide and their interest should be protected. Govt worked to give faster responses. But now, we need to look back our perspectives, formulate new criteria or we will be struck!

Why not housing insurance be taken up as a development programme? And also drinking water, waste disposal etc? If we changed our perspective, our criteria would also change.
Creating a database of the gap was necessary. What would be the criteria to make the list? Initially the criterion was different now it should be different. KRRC should play a major role in this context.

Study report by Mr. Vivek Rawal

Followed by the sharing session, Mr. Vivek Rawal from Unnati presented through power point the report of the study conducted by Unnati in collaboration with KRRC in the temporary shelters and in the permanent shelters in 14 tsunami affected villages in Kanyakumari district. The study report said that 80% houses were being constructed in new locations and 20% in situ. Quoting from the study of UNDP, he said that rebuilding insitu would not be violation of CRZ. More repair works were done in KK District so that temporary shelters were avoided. Though many people were satisfied with the choices of the location of the temporary shelters, the conditions of temporary shelters, the materials used, space and the sanitation facilities were not satisfactory.

Regarding permanent shelter, more people were satisfied with the quality of the housing. Compared to other places, the masonry work was very good.

The selection of the place for the construction was quite good. Many places had good earth though in some cases it was not so.

There was very much gap in the participation of the people. People did not know which their house was. Though people were discussed regarding the plan of the house, they could not easily understand the blue print but only when the construction took place, then only they realized the real plan. The study suggested that better tools needed to be employed while describing the designs to the people.

The study also focused that the people were kept ignorant of their house until it was handed over to them. There was also no choice for neighborhood selection. They would have contributed their mind and labor if they had known which their house was. Their participation needed to be strengthened.

But, there were no guidelines for retrofitting and there were gaps in understanding the technical guidelines. As per the technical guidelines given by the Tamil Nadu government, there should have been vertical bar reinforcement in every T corners. But it was misunderstood as only in the four corners of the house. There was gap also in understanding what a grade beam was. In the context of tsunami, a ground level concrete reinforcement was needed to stop the scouring of tsunami.


Presentation by Mr. Antony Xavier, NCRC

Through power point presentation, Mr. Antony Xavier described the status, progresses and the processes of rehabilitation in Nagapattinam. He shared that 24% of the construction was complete and the number of total houses were increased from around 20000 to 27000. Thirty percentages of houses were being constructed in situ, 1% in Government land, 49% in private land and 29%in temple land. Till date, 438 houses had been completed.

There was also the problem in identifying the land for the housing, due to which the relocation got delayed.

There were various models of housing planned and there was also tripartite participation of the community, NGOs and the government.

Issues and concerns regarding distance, elevation, encroachment,, legal matters, equity and livelihood were also described. Identifying that ancient villages were in elevated areas and every Panchayat had cyclone shelters, he said that with the onslaught of the development, people forgot the traditional wisdom.

Trainings for architects and engineers were done. Regarding the quality, the collector was monitoring it.

Some of the interesting interventions were such as total stations survey, ensuring access to shorefront, community driven construction, training on safety factors, community quality monitoring, labor net, business development meet and transit shelters being planned.

Sharing from Gujarat Experiences

Mr. Mano Thankaraj, Fr. Nithya Sahayam and Mr. Xavier from Stella Maris shared their experiences from their exposure visit to Gujarat. All of them identified that wherever there was more participation of the people in the construction process, there were innovations, more space for the people and more community spirit. Wherever there were no or less participation of the people, those relocation sites were either not occupied or less occupied. The owner driven approach was very much successful in the Gujarat experience.

It was also shared that retrofitting was successfully undertaken in Gujarat. The role of networking of NGOs for addressing the gaps and for pioneering technical innovations was lessons to be learnt from there.

While comparing the Gujarat interventions to Kanyakumari district, it was identified that though the quality of the construction was quite high, yet there were gaps in addressing the issues of retrofitting and eliciting the participation of the community and the Panchayats.

Sharing by Mr. Prakash IAS, Additional Collector

He shared that there was a panel of expert committee at the district level who took care of the housing. Compared to any other place, the quality of the construction was very high and so far no complaints had been received from any houses handed over to the people. The infrastructures were also being constructed by the NGOs. Though the district could have got Rs. 20 crore from the Asian Development Bank for infrastructures, the time and the process in getting the amount would have delayed the entire process.

Within four months of time, around 4000 houses were repaired which reduced the number of temporary shelters and the need for constructing that many new houses. Nine hundred houses were also being constructed in the high tide affected areas. The district was envisioning completing all houses by the month of March and handing over them to the beneficiaries. He ended his sharing adjuring to NGOs also to contribute for the electricity for the individual houses.

Concluding Notes of the Afternoon sessions

One of the major issues was the participation of the people. It was a myth to think that people’s participation takes time and we should think how to make them participate in the restoration. The second issue was regarding creating a culture of safety and a secure habitat. It was also the time to think about the coastal area development in which the issues of livelihood versus security had to be addressed. The sea front development and site development have to be taken up. Most importantly, there is need for technical assessment of the repair works done, identifying the gaps in the replacement of the dilapidated ones and taking up the retrofitting needs. Involving the PRI in the entire process was essential and coordination mechanisms needed to be strengthened. Study was also necessary to find out the left outs.

Each house estimate should be developed for retrofitting or replacement. Technical engineers should be trained in these retrofitting and safety aspects. A meeting with PRI, NGOs and the Government was also found necessary. A meeting at Chennai for all the resource centers was also needed to develop perspective plans.

It was suggested by the participants that an exposure visit to Nagapattinam could be also arranged for some NGOs involved in housing.

Community preparedness materials were also distributed to the participant organizations.

Vote of Thanks:
Mr. Xavier from Stella Maris thanked the participants, Unnati people and the Additional Collector. The discussion ended at 4.15 p.m.

Biodata, Resume and CV

Biodata, Resume and CV

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